tv MSNBC Live MSNBC May 2, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PDT
the openly gay man getting a fierce backlash from social conservatives. it's raising the question, is it okay to be lgbt in the gop? and facebook, my organs? donate up to 100 body parts with the click of a button. it's driving donations way up. i'm thomas roberts. great to have you with me. a lot on "the agenda" for today. president obama's return to the states after tuesday's surprise visit to afghanistan tops our coverage. the president touching down at andrews air force base a short time ago. he's on his way back to the white house. his first afghan visit in 17 months was underscored by signing a long-term partnership agreement with the afghan government. this trip also marked the one-year anniversary of the raid that killed al qaeda terror chief osama bin laden.
>> no, it is not over. some of your buddies are going to be injured. some are going to get killed. but there's a light on the horizon. because of what you've done. >> here's the reality. less than two hours after the president left, explosions rocked parts of afghanistan. the taliban is complaining responsibility. atiyyah, what else do we know about this attack and what does it say about the state of the country despite signing this deal with hamid karzai? >> hi there, thomas. the taliban did claim responsibility for today's attack. they say it was in response to the signing of the strategic partnership agreement by the u.s. and afghan presidents last night. they want the world to know the afghans the u.s. met with last
night do not represent the afghan people. the taliban say it's them who represent the afghan people. but the afghans, the average afghans you speak to will tell you none of them represent them. the taliban don't and the afghan government doesn't. as for the afghans within the capital of kabul, many are relieved about the strategic partnership. many felt that the u.s. and the international community for that matter would have abandoned them as the combat mission draws down by the end of 2014. but we've got to remember, this is just a small part of the afghan population. nearly 90% of afghanistan are in rural villages and districts. many of them, all they want in life, is for the violence and the war to stop. whether that's from nato and the taliban. thomas? >> peace is something that gets discounted in all of this. atia abawi, thank you. we want to bring in jim frederick, the international editor for "time" magazine. great to have you here. as atia was reporting, u.s. troops will withdraw from afghanistan in 2014.
the president is pledging financial support to them through 2024. what kind of investment of time can we expect from our government between now and 2024 and in light of the fact this does mean a military commitment as well? >> yeah. that's the biggest problem with the president's speech yesterday was that there were really no specifics on what this means. i think that if you look back at everything that he said, there weren't a lot of details on how the drawdown exactly was going to go, what the investments were going to be. i mean, obviously there's going to be development aid and training aid, but a lot of the problems that we've been dealing with in afghanistan, corrupt, incompetent government, skwes about security and whether or not afghan forces can stand up still remain. there's a lot of questions still. >> when we talk about the last of 33,000 troops dispatched through afghanistan in '09, that was ramp-up, basically, under president obama. they're going to head home at the end of september. however, senior administration officials, jim, say there's no specific troop levels over the
next two years. what factors are best going to determine the troop levels that we see just in the short term? let's look up now to 2014. >> i think security is what's going to determine whether or not the drawdown happens on schedule. i mean, the administration and the united states people desperately want to get out of afghanistan. but the administration is not going to flooef the middle of a civil war or a complete breakdown into a failed state. the problem is that afghanistan is fairly close to that already. so there's a lot of wishing and hoping that afghanistan is going to be able to get its act together to meet these time lines. >> jim, as we look at this, the president basically committing americans to this investment in afghanistan through the next four presidential cycles, one of which president obama can oversee, and he was saying that his goal or the goal right now is not to rebuild a country in america's image but it is to defeat al qaeda. are those ideas one and the same and can you accomplish that goal without nation building? >> well, it's interesting how dramatically the united states
has scaled back its ambitions. if now the goal is only to defeat al qaeda and can you do that without nation building, what happened to the securing of human rights? what happened to the standing up of a stable and secure democracy? what happened to stamping out corruption? so your question is a great one. if the goals are limbed, how do we even achieve those limited goals when we can't eve pron vid security? >> jim frederick, international editor for "time" magazine, great to have you here this morning. >> thank you. >> catch nbc's "rock center" with brian williams tonight for a special hour-long look at the raid that killed osama bin laden. it's called "inside the situation room." an unparalleled look at what went on that night. 9:00 p.m. eastern on nbc. the president's address from bagram airfield yesterday straddled two different narratives, an unpopular war ending but the u.s. is committed to standing by afghanistan and its people. >> i recognize that many americans are tired of war.
but we must finish the job we started in afghanistan and end this war responsibly. >> so just as the president's remarks straddled those two narratives, so did the republican party in its response. joining the discussion is aaron mcpike of real clear politics, former pennsylvania governor and nbc political analyst ed rendell and msnbc contributor and republican strategist susan del% owe. susan, let's talk about how the gop reacted to this, the president's remarks, and there are different accounts as we would look at this from the right side of this. senator john mccain called it a good opportunity for the president to talk to troops on ground, see the progress that's been made in that country. another senator criticized the president, calling the visit to afghanistan an address to the nation, a campaign stop and comparing it to the president's recent visits to colleges. around the country. different responses there. obviously senator mccain recognizing the fact that the
president is marking this step to take on what is an unpopular stance, most likely in a lot of political circles. jim inhofe's response trying to undercut the president on foreign policy. >> i think most republicans are in line with senator mccain. what happens is you have a political cycle going 24 hours earlier about the president going after mitt romney when he really didn't have to, knowing that he was going to make this big -- sign this tremendous agreement in afghanistan. so there is really no need for that lead-up. so i think that kind of messed up the politics and how people went. but people -- we should stand behind our president right now, and i think the romney campaign has certainly said this was the right step to do what he did and we have to go forward and probably better define our mission in afghanistan. >> governor, as we take the temperature of the american people about afghanistan, the war has been vastly unpopular among americans. the president's approval rating now stands at 47%. in comparison, this being the highest since the killing of
osama bin laden, is the president's political stock on the rise and how conscientious is the obama re-election team of that in making sure it stay where is it is? i think it clearly is. that's obviously the mission for the campaign. it always impresses when he some republicans would call this political when president bush landed in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier saying mission accomplished. every time the president goes over, talks to the troop, sees the situation on the ground, that's useful. in terms of the agreement, i think the president will have more trouble with part of the democratic base than he is with the republicans on this agreement. look at the agreement. it is says we'll work out a compromise with the taliban. what was the taliban's response to the announcement of this agreement? to kill more people. i think afghanistan is a mess, a quagmire. it's difficult for us to negotiate.
however we long stay there, i don't think we'll do anything beneficial. we should get out as kwkly as we can and start, as the president said, focusing on rebuilding america. >> mitt romney was in new york with former mayor rudy giuliani yesterday here in the city and talking to people. they had an unfortunate incident at a local firehouse. take a look at this. >> to track osama bin laden anywhere he could be found. [ mitt romney, you're a racist! >> i'm sorry. i can't quite hear you. >> taking that opportunity there, a protester basically to heckle mitt romney at a time where he's trying to make, you know, a statement himself about the importance of what happened in new york city back in 2001. but, when you look at the different visuals out of this, did the president check mate mitt romney yesterday? >> did he check mate him? i mean, i don't think so. appearing with rudy giuliani is important. giuliani is a very visible figure on national security back from september 11th, and having
his endorsement is of course very important. but i wouldn't call it check mating the president on that, no. >> giuliani, as you bring up, very important to mitt romney. ed, as we talk about mitt romney being in new york city, we have to point out new york's mayor michael bloomberg, reportedly playing golf with the vice president over the weekend, he's running both sides. why is bloomberg such a sought after endorsement? >> i think the country knows that bloomberg tells it like he is, that he proposes real solutions that are outside of the political realm and just attacks problems. mike bloomberg is the ultimate problem solver. americans have a great deal of respect for him. if he gave his endorse m, i think that would be very significant. >> i want to show this to everybody because the romney tsuper pac is out with its first ad of the general election. take a peek. >> you know, this is not about
perfection. $300,000 in taxes just -- >> unfortunately, that's the wrong sound bite. that was newt gingrich who we'll talk about in just a second. but apparently this new ad is out, nearly $4 million ad buy to run on the airwaves in eight key swing state, the super pac playing a key role in the gop primary. suen, can the democrats compete? >> if barack obama and the democrats are planning to raise a billion dollars, i hope so. they already have more cash on hand by 10-1 compared to mitt romney. it's not surprising that mitt romney is up. at the same time, it's not to suggest the democrats can't compete with that. >> erin, newt gingrich. he'll be suspending his campaign this afternoon. he released a statement in advancement. take a listen. >> a re-election of barack obama will be a genuine disaster, and all of us have an obligation to
do everything we can to defeat barack obama. >> gingrich there not mentioning mitt romney by name. any way he can do a 180, make people buy he really backs mitt romney and what he's trying to do? >> he's certainly going to try. when he spends his campaign this afternoon he won't be appearing with mitt romney. mitt romney is scheduled to be somewhere else in washington tam. but going back to some of the obama campaign strategy, they have already issued negative attack ads on mitt romney, so of course the super pac can respond with its money. gu going to newt gingrich, the obama campaign just this morning put out a web video reminding that newt gingrich is not a very big supporter of mitt romney to undercut a potential endorsement as it comes later today. >> we shall see. erin mcpike, ed rendell, susan, thanks to all three of you for being here. i appreciate it. speaking of newt gingrich, he might not be running for president anymore, but he's still aiming for the moon. we explain when we talk to one of his supporters about the end
of his campaign. plus, the blind chinese dissident that was freed still planning on staying in china. not anymore. the shocking rb why he wants to leave now. and a mother is busted after taking her 5-year-old, that's right, her toddler, to the tanning salon. where do you think the mom got that idea? [ male announcer ] considering all your mouth goes through, do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine... power to your mouth. but when i was diagnosed with prostate cancer... i needed a coach. our doctor was great, but with so many tough decisions i felt lost. unitedhealthcare offered us a specially trained rn who helped us weigh and understand all our options. for me cancer was as scary as a fastball is to some of these kids. but my coach had hit that pitch before. turning data into useful answers. we're 78,000 people looking out for 70 million americans. that's health in numbers.
so is as newt gingrich prepares to suspend his presidential run, the obama campaign takes a nostalgic look back at gingrich's most harsh criticisms of mitt romney. >> is he still the most anti-immigrant candidate? >> i think of the four of us, yes. >> are you calling mitt romney a liar? >> yes. >> the question remains would
anyone truly by a gingrich endorsement of his former rival. joining me now is bob livingston, who backed newt gingrich and his bid for the presidency. great to have you here. >> thanks. >> some would look at that and think with friends like these who needs enemies. is there any way newt gingrich can convince fellow republicans he does, in fact, support mitt romney's full candidacy as the republican nominee? >> actually, newt doesn't have to convince anybody. you have president obama has done it already. he's convinced every republican and most independents that he is not fit to be the president of the united states for another four years. and as a result, newt gingrich and rick santorum will be joining forces with mr. romney, governor romney, and will be trying to convince all of those people, a majority of americans, that governor romney should be the next president. >> well, newt gingrich did give the media a plethora of sound bites to really revel in and to
hurt the romney team. and probably most likely going to be used going forward. take a look at these, though. >> -- should hire kids from the poor neighborhood to do all the janitorial work. we will have the first permanent base on the moon and it will be american. you can't put a wreck in a volvo. >> these will be used throughout the season. as we talk about this, in politics, everybody knows it's a blood sport. that's a given. you were once quoted as saying newt gingrich could be volatile. in looking back at his campaign, was he at times his own worst enemy? >> i wouldn't say that. and, in fact, a lot of his former colleagues got on television and attacked him because of his managerial style. and some of them went over the top. the fact is that newt gingrich was a visionary. he was a revolutionary. he changed government.
we actually balanced the budget after reducing taxes and bringing in welfare reform and cutting and eliminating programs. he had a remarkable record in those four years that he was speaker. that's why i supported him. i know he has the ability to turn the messed up government of ours and today. but there were his detractors because of his management styles. no doubt about it. and it was a hot and heavy campaign, and whatever newt said about governor romney, governor romney gave back four or five fold or maybe tenfold. the ads that were played against newt after iowa and in florida were just incredible, and of course there were about 20-1 in terms of dollars. so newt didn't have much of a chance in this primary. but he is concentrating on one thing, and that is the need to replace barack obama as president of the united states this time, not in four years. >> all right. as you talk about the fact he may not have survived this primary in the role he wanted to
ultimately get, he has raised his relevance and his political standing within the republican party itself. where do you think that newt gingrich goes from here? you know, we played that moon colony comment. that's something he feels passionately about. do you think he'll work on that as well as keeping a vocal and active voice within the republican party moving forward? >> he is a visionary. i mean, newt has always shown that he thinks out of the box. frankly, when we make great advances in space, it's going to be after we end up going to the moon and putting the colony thereupon. it's going to happen sooner or later. it may happen in 20 years or 50, but it's going happen. newt wanted to do it sooner. i think that newt could play a very valuable role in the cabinet if governor romney chooses to appoint him in just about any capacity. he could be -- he could head up the united nations delegation on behalf of the united states. he could do a number of things. he is a very talented guy.
it would be a shame just to throw him to the side. >> bob livingston, great to see you. thank you. >> thank you, thomas. gingrich is expected to suspend his campaign at 3:00 this amp. tune in for coverage live on msnbc, the place for politics. all right, so you may have heard about this. the romney spokesman who quit less than two weeks after starting the job. well, the campaign says that rick grenell quit for personal reasons. grenell says it's because of blowback because he's openly gay. the question -- can you be lgbt and in the gop? plus, cheri young gets combative on the witness stand today. she's being called spunky, feisty, and a steel magnolia. if there was a pill to help protect your eye health as you age... would you take it? well, there is.
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york yankees pitcher andy pettitte back on the stand this morning in the trial of former teammate roger clemens. pettitte testified he may have misheard clemens say he used hgh, that is human growth hormone. clemens is being tried for the second time on federal charges of lying to a house committee about the use of steroids. one of the most compelling witnesses so far in the john edwards criminal trial wrapping up testimony today. and boy, has it made for great courtroom drama. for two days defense lawyers grilled the wife of edwards' former aide about whether she and her husband had financial incentive to hurt the former presidential candidate. an emotional cheri young fired back, saying their client's lies forced them to go public. steven freedland is a professor at the elon university school of law. the defense turned it up hot and heavy yesterday and cheri young gave it back as good as she got from the stand. i want to review one exchange
because the defense lawyer, alan dunkin', asked, isn't it true you were trying to get john edwards? sir, that is a completely false statement, i'm here to tell the truth about my experiences. there's no hay hey tread. i can't live like that, sir. how does the testimony here, steven, compare with that of her husband's testimony? >> well, her husband was pretty flat in the way he presented himself. cheri young was lively, spirited, engaged. it was a stark contrast and the human element of a human element case. >> andrew young was john edwards' chief aide, wrote the book "the politician." at one point in this courtroom drama, the defense suggested the couple was motivated by cash, by money. cheri's young response was blunt. she said, income, yeah, i'll take income. that's reasonable. i came here because i had to come here. the only reason my husband had to write the book is because mr. edwards did not come forward
and tell the truth. how does all that play out if the prosecution script is this was a family who was all but ruined by the deceit that was inflicted upon them by john edwards? >> cheri young told the story of the young family on the run. she actually made places like aspen and san diego not sound like inviting destinations. she was working and she was working for john edwards. she not only said that she was working and her husband was working but her whole family. so she recast this whole event. it was not about her family. she was saying her family was doing everything it could for john edwards. >> it's been a real wild ride watching this. we'll continue to watch. professor steven friedland, great to have you. thanks for your time. the running mate process has been compared to a reality game show. you know, "survivor," many co-po tenial candidates stepping out on the campaign trail, making a case for themselves in public.
i'll talk the veep stakes with ron reagan next. plus, like mother, like daughter? this woman admits she's been tanning her life and loves to do it. now she's been arrested, accused of bringing her fair-haired, fair-skinned 5-year-old daughter with her. eat good fats. avoid bad. don't go over 2000... 1200 calories a day. carbs are bad. carbs are good. the story keeps changing. so i'm not listening... to anyone but myself. i know better nutrition when i see it: great grains. great grains cereal starts whole and stays whole. see the seam? more processed flakes look nothing like natural grains. you can't argue with nutrition you can see. great grains. search great grains and see for yourself. for multi grain flakes that are an excellent source of fiber try great grains banana nut crunch and cranberry almond crunch. hi, i just switched jobs, and i want to roll over my old 401(k) into a fidelity ira. man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line
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knowledge of this threat. so explain to all of us what have you been hearing about it speckally and how do you think that this is all going to play out as the world continues to watch. >> reporter: well, we thought we had a deal, around certainly hillary clinton thought she had a deal. but in an extraordinary interview by phone with the ap news agency, chen guangcheng says the chinese official threatened to beat his wife to death unless he left the embassy. and he says that gave him little choice but to leave. he now says he wants to leave china and go to the u.s. now, the u.s. officials are saying that they did not pass on that threat to chen as he alleges. all they said to him was that chinese officials would send his family back to the village unless he left the embassy. now, clearly, this is another extraordinary turn to the story, and the whole deal does appear to be unraveling. earlier today, we had briefings from senior u.s. officials that
painted a really upbeat picture of what had happened. they even had a quote saying that chen had said he wanted to blow a kiss to the secretary of state, so ecstatic was he at this deal. the deal we thought was there was him going for medical care, being offered a safe home, a job at the university, a promise of an investigation into the allegations of abuse. but now suddenly the whole thing does seem to be unraveling again, thomas. >> nbc's ian williams in beijing for us. ian, thank you. back at home, this is the million-dollar question that so many politicos are trying to consider or figure out the horse race of who will mitt romney choose to run alongside him. will the former governor make a safe pick or choose a dark horse who's been on no one's shor list so far? joining me is former talk show host ron reagan.
nice to see you this morning. a lot of people are trying to throw their two cents into the mix on this one. >> nice to see you. >> it's a fun game of speculation, especially if you pick the right winner. but mitt romney has made appearances on the campaign trail in recent weeks with people who have been named, of course, within that circle of speculation. is the campaign giving each of them this public audition? and what do you think the campaign is hoping to see in these test runs as they run up to figuring out which test balloon is will work? >> well, they're trying to gauge public reaction and the reaction in the media. mitt romney's got a real problem. the republicans have a real problem as everybody knows. on the one hand, he can shore up his base by moving to the right. you know, he could pick rick santorum as his vice presidential candidate, not that anybody's really talking about that right now. but that of course would doom him in the general election with the, you know, great mass of american voters. or he can play it safer and tack towards the middle. the danger there, of course, is is you alienate your base. all those folks who voted for
newt gingrich and rick santorum aren't going to like fit you pick a moderate. so there's his dilemma in a nutshell. >> so "usa today" this week suggested one thing the romney campaign wants to avoid the most is the repeat of what happened with sarah palin, the game-changing pick, someone who becomes the story line eclipsing the candidate and their actual message. how do you think the vetting process has changed and changed in such a short period of time as a result of john mccain's choice four years ago? >> well, mitt romney is a much more careful man than john mccain, and i'm sure he's not going to make the mistake of naming somebody as his vice presidential candidate who is essentially unvetted, who they haven't road tested in a sense. the palin pick as you know was a disaster for mccain in the end. i don't know that romney, if there's anybody out there that romney can pick who would be a kind of game changing type. marco rubio to an extent, as
latino, hispanic, that would be a new flavor the white house as it were. but marco rubio, as you know, as come out with a fairly sane immigration policy, sort of a dream act light, and that's not going to please the base who are vehemently anti-immigration. so that's a problem for him. condoleezza rice has been mentioned, but i don't see her ever getting into politics. >> what about rob portman? >> rob portman, that's like a mayonnaise finally meets tapioca. can you imagine a less exciting duo than rob portman and mitt romney? it's just sort of two boring white guys out there. so his advantage, of course, being that he's from ohio, and ohio is going to be a crucial state as it usually is. but, you know, it would certainly be a safe pick. i'm not sure it's going to do him much good except in ohio. >> all things being fair, though, would someone like that make mitt romney look more charismatic? because if you do pick someone
like say a governor chris christie who owns the room and is charismatic and shoots from the hip, so to speak, does that make mitt romney look more charismatic, more star-like, when you do put somebody next to him who is going to do that? kind of blanld it out? >> i don't know that you can put anybody next to mitt romney that makes mitt romney look charismatic, but you're absolutely right about chris christie. he will own the room if he's in there with mitt romney. but, again, you know, i don't know that -- portman may end up being the guy, but it's a pretty bland ticket in that case. it also doesn't do a whole lot for mitt romney foreign policy-wise. we've seen in the last few days he's got a big gap in his resume when it comes to foreign policy. >> we'll see what vegas oddsmakers are putting on this one. great to see you. >> you too, thomas. here's some other stories topping the news. bad news about jobs here and overseas sent the dow into an early morning dive after
yesterday's four-year high. the industrial average fell 78 points to just over 13,000 in the first hour of trading. the day before it soared to new highs with good news on the u.s. manufacturing front. right now you can see the negativity, down by about 45 points. we'll continue to watch. criminal charges are expected this afternoon in connection with last fall's hazing death of a florida a&m university drum major. prosecutors say they have prepared five separate cases against the suspects who say they have contributed to the 26-year-old's death. to atlanta now and fire officials there investigating the cause of an overnight blaze that torched the studio of filmmaker tyler perry. perry got a firsthand look at the damage earlier this morning. the fire triggered four alarms, but fortunately no one was hurt. but you can see the damage that was created. whitney houston's former husband, bobby brown, telling matt lauer in an exclusive interview with the "today" show that he's not to blame for the death of his superstar ex-wife while at the same time implying
that she didn't have the will to lave clean life. >> maybe i could have done something different, your life. but you have to want it. i wasn't the one that, you know, got her addicted to drugs or -- i'm not the reason she's gone. >> as you'll remember, houston drowned in the tub of a blifr hills hotel room in march. coroners say heart disease and cocaine use contributed to her death. wait till you get a load of this one. an attorney for a new jersey mother says his client is 150% innocent of child endangerment. his client is accused of taking her 5-year-old daughter tanning, an accusation she denies. here's natalie morales with a story that has touched a lot of nerves. >> this whole thing's been blown out of proportion. >> reporter: patricia denies she took her daughter anna tanning with her and says she just brought the 5-year-old the tanning salon and made her wait next to the bed while she
herself tanned. >> she's my little girl. i'm not going to bring my little daughter into a 90-degree bed. i mean, that's not normal. >> reporter: anna's parents say when anna went to school the next day she told her friends she went tanning with her mom. they think a teacher overheard and called police. new jersey law prohibits persons under the age of 14 from going tanning. >> she got sunburn. >> i tan. she doesn't tan. it's called a tanning booth, and a tanning room. >> reporter: anna's parents say it was a misunderstanding and she got a sunburn from playing in the yard. >> it's traumatizing for a little girl who did nothing wrong but got a little sunburn. >> now the child remains in the home. the family is being monitored by the division of youth and family services. republican senator scott brown and elizabeth warren don't seem to agree on much in their election battle except when it comes to president obama.
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welcome back, everybody. he is the former top spokesman for george w. bush. however, today rick grenell is out of that job having resigned on what would have been his first day at work. grenell, who is openly gay, faced backlash from social conservatives went when he took that post. brian fisher on the american family association tweeted romney picks out and loud gay as a spokesman. if personnel is policy, his message to the pro family community -- drop dead. the big question a lot of people are asking is did being openly gay contribute to grenell's downfall? well, it's something that rick grenell himself is denying
saying in part that he wants to thank governor romney for his belief in me and my abilities and his clear message to me that being openly gay was a nonissue for him and his team. joining me is fred carver, the founder of californians against hate and is running as a republican candidate for president. i understand that you know rick, you know him professionally and personally. this is the response from mitt romney's campaign about the resignation of grenell, having said, "we are disappointed that ric decided to resign from the campaign for his own personal reasons. we wanted him to stay because he had superior qualifications for the position he was hired to fill." enough to give moderate republicans and independents out there whiplash, romney hiring an openly gay man who's gone before he had a chance to get in front of a camera to talk about mitt romney's foreign policy. what do you think is fueling the conflicted message, and does it really even hurt mitt romney in the long run? >> well, we've got a situation where we've got these bigoted
bullies like brian fisher you mentioned, and he's got a different agenda. he says he's pro family. he's not. he's hurting families. it sends a very bad message of inclusion, which the republican party has been working to recover for a very long time from. i'm running as the first openly gay candidate for president of either major party and it's a breakthrough and it should be the republican party that leads the way in acceptance and inclusion of everyone in the republican party. >> fred, log cabin republicans also came out with a statement in reference to grenell resigning. it says it is unfortunate that while the romney campaign made it clear that grenell being openly gay is a nonissue for the governor and his team, it threatened to compromise his effectiveness on the trail. there are members of the lgbt community who are fiscally conservative and they recognize and align themselves with republicans. so what's so unacceptable to conservatives about the concept of someone who is openly gay
serving in this advisory position to a republican presidential nominee? >> that's the $64,000 question. here's a guy with impeccable credentials, he worked as the foreign policy spokesman for the george w. bush administration and the united nations for eight years. we're fortunate to have someone like ric gren knell the republican party. you have these bullies like brian fisher who think anyone who is gay is diskwqualified fr serving. there are plenty of gay people in the romney campaign and former bush administration. and i'll tell you, ronald reagan is turning over in his grave this kind of conduct. >> fred, when we look at this from just the politics of it all, why is it a problem for commonsense lgbt people not to be accepted within the gop itself? because certainly grenell faced criticism from the left about taking this role.
he's also been accused of some misogynistic tweets and things like that. he had to clean up his profile on the web before even taking this position itself because of being a little sharp tongued about things. but isn't that kind of the dichotomy of politics in all this? >> ric is a brilliant guy. he helped me when i first started my campaign a couple years ago with some foreign policy advice. he has one of the most stellar records in this area. worked for john bolton. john bolton accepted him. george w. bush accepted him for who he was, for his qualifications. so, you know, it's not the republican party. i as the first openly gay candidate was welcomed by pree vis in his office, the vice chair chief of staff before i filed a year ago in washington, the state parties, county parties have welcomed me. i want to stick up for the republican party because they have been very gracious to me and certainly to ric grenell and other openly gay republicans.
it's these bullies from the american family association, tony perkins from the family research council, these are the danger for this country because they have a tremendous amount of intimidation, a lot of money and a lot of clout. if fisher, who's attacking him regularly anyway -- so we have to draw the line in the sand and stop these groups and cut them off. >> independent republican presidential candidate fred karger. thanks for taking time. >> thank you. it is okay to say gay in tennessee. the controversial don't say gay bill will not become law. it died when the state's general assembly adjourned yesterday. the key republican sponsor of the bill decided not to bring it up for a final vote. if the bill becamed law it would have banned discussion of sexuality and lgbt issues in schools. there could be a texas-sized battle over funding for planned parenthood. right now they cannot receive funds under a state program because it performs abortions. a federal judge granted an
emergency stay yeld just a day after a judge said the state did not enforce that law. lots of love for president obama or at least from both candidates in the most-watched senate race in the country. senator scott brown and his his democratic challenger, elizabeth warren. >> elizabeth warren, she's a janitor's daughter who has become one of the country's fiercest advocates for the middle class. she came up with an idea for a new independent agency that would have one simple overriding mission. standing up for consumers and middle class families. >> standing with president obama on the day he signed it into law was another one of those great experiences. whatever else may separate us, we are americans first. to me, that means we need to work together now. >> and but nor brown still wants 0 repeal the president's health care law even though he admitted his 23-year-old daughter benefits from it. ala, a professional sing ser covered under the professional
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a new initiative that allows facebook users to explain how they plan to donate their organs is driving others. according to the group donate life california, there's been an over 5,000% increases in signups to their doan sker roster since pond. joining me to talk more what this means is ceo charlene zellle. i just want to go over the stats real quickly for everybody. according to yours, they are right now 20,762 people on california's organ waiting list. of that number, 353 are children younger than 15, 15/younger than
1 and the rest account for the 50 to 64 age bracket. what kind of organs mainly are people like that waiting for? is there one more than the other? >> yes, good morning, thomas. thank you. that's an excellent question and it's kidneys. 80% or almost 80% of people on that waiting list need a life-saving kidney. that's because of the propensity to the diabetes and hypertension of many people than destroys your organs. >> charlene, as you look to to see that enormous boost of attention being drawn to this over a 5,000% increase is absolutely amazing and certainly heartwarming to so many families across this country who have depended on donation for a loved one, a family member or friend. explain how you're going to be able to be do the follow-through necessary to see people committing to this and potential for them to then become an organ donor down the line. >> well, this initiative has
been powerful for donate life california, and our -- this facebook initiative has given us an open door to a generation we've been trying to reach. and so the conversation can begin now. friends can tell friends and family about organ and tisch you'll donation that lead them to our website. there's plenty of educational materials and the reality is thousands and thousands of lives will be saved. >> makes organ donation very hip and relevant for a lot of kids who may not have heard of it before. charlene zettel, thanks so much. that's going to wrap things up for me. "now with alex wagner" is coming your way in the next hour. what's coming up? >> what a fetching blue tie that is. >> why, thank you. >> coming up, the president is back from afghanistan and is tasked with the job of balancing hope and success as well as the roles of commander and campaigner. former special assistant to the president george w. bush david
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